I'm pondering reviews. I've been thinking about them a lot lately. This has been sparked by quite a few blog posts I've read in the last month stating that authors/wannabe authors probably shouldn't review books as it's not seen in the best light to critique your fellow novelists. I have to ask myself why. (A regular Aristotle, I tell ya...)
Don't we, as writers, want to grow in our craft? Become better at it? Sometimes it's hard to step outside of our neatly created worlds and examine the flaws. We can't see the forest for the trees, as my mother often said. We know this! It's why we have critique partners and editors. It's why we go through so many rigorous revisions. Why then should we balk at a little constructive criticism once the book is in print? Can we not still learn from the perspective of others once the ink is permanent? I would venture that we certainly can. So why are people trying to push book reviews off as being taboo? (Yes, I know there are mean people out there who don't know the difference between constructive and critical. Hit the ignore button! They only have as much power as you give them.)
I am not much of a reviewer myself. I use goodreads to mostly report content, though after reading an incredibly thoughtful series like Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games, I do spend a little time describing my personal feelings.
To me, the world is becoming upside down and backwards. Political correctness is killing discussion and the things that should be taboo (sex, gore, cursing, among other things) are becoming more and more accepted. This is the reason I will NOT stop reviewing books. They have no rating system of their own and it's only through word of mouth that we know what's in them. I consider it an obligation to my friends and family to warn them of inappropriate content in any book. It's not personal and I never mean to offend. I LOVE the authors and writers I've met even if they choose to write things I disagree with. I would guess 99.9% of the writers out there feel the same way. I want the world to be a better place and I know you do to. We can't do it when we accept filth as commonplace. As Edmund Burke famously said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men to do nothing." I for one am choosing to do something, even if it costs me national publication.
Matthew 5:14-16 reads, " Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
I don't normally quote scriptures on my writing blog, but this seemed an appropriate moment do to so.
So is this controversial? It shouldn't be, but I haven't seen anyone else saying these things. Please, do me a favor and circulate this post, whether you agree or not, so that this side of the story can be heard and writers can decide for themselves how they want to proceed. This is an important issue to me and I would appreciate your help. Thank you!